Gurugram, India, July 27, 2020 - PackagingConnections has started with a series of webinars during July’2020. After successfully completing the first one on “Introduction to PackagingConnections”, the company is coming up with a new paid webinar on an important topic SUSTAINABILITY. The company has completed the initial research on Sustainability in Packaging and is ready to present its findings to the packaging community. The webinar will cover the current practices, challenges, and ways forward. This webinar would also take its audience through many examples that are already implemented.
Mitsubishi HiTec Paper produces recyclable barrier papers with water-based coatings for food and non-food packaging under the brand name barricote®. In the EU, the so-called SUPD (Single Use Plastic Directive) has created a great deal of uncertainty for this innovative and sustainable packaging material, on which we would like to take a position, as follows
Baker Perkins has specialised in the extrusion of starch-based foods such as snacks and ready-to-eat cereals for over 50 years, and is applying its depth of process know-how and experience to the production of biodegradable alternatives to polystyrene and plastic packaging.
This expertise is relevant because the process of mixing, hydrating, expanding, shaping and cutting starches into chips has more in common with food extrusion than plastics or other industrial processes.
Although the machines may look the same as a food extruder and the biodegradable product looks similar to plastic foam, they are in reality both significantly different.
Natural bio materials are not as consistent as synthetic plastics and the hydration process of the starch has no direct equivalent in plastics. A comparison is putting petrol in a diesel car – minor differences render the major similarities irrelevant.
Baker Perkins’ range of twin-screw extruders includes a 19mm benchtop machine for research labs, a 24mm unit for pilot plants and production extruders from 30mm up to 100mm.
Dies for a range of chips are available, along with the appropriate cutter, and are easily interchanged to allow a full range of product types to be manufactured.
Baker Perkins also provides extruders and process expertise for industrial applications including powder coatings, toners and speciality chemicals. The company operates an Innovation Centre with two twin-screw extruders that are available for everything from simple demonstrations of current technology to new product development trials and experiments with new materials.
The pressure to switch to biodegradable or sustainable packaging means that this is a fast-moving field constantly being challenged to develop new products and to use a wider range of biomaterials, including recycled and by-products. Baker Perkins said its know-how is already available to achieve these goals.
Recently, we debuted a line of tethered caps—fitments that are more likely to be recycled because they stay attached to their packaging. Our tethered caps were the result of years of research, but not all our innovations start within. Sometimes, new ideas come through our longstanding partnerships.
We’ve been working with Materne since 2007. We’re their exclusive packaging supplier and developed a sustainable pouch for their GoGo squeeZ® line of healthy snacks for kids. In January of 2020, they set a goal to shift towards 100% recyclable packaging by 2022. To help meet that goal, Materne asked us to make a custom fitment for GoGo squeeZ pouches.
“About 50% of our fitments are driven by customer requests,” says Tony Bloedt, Director of Global Fitment Development for Scholle IPN. “Materne requested a fitment that would reduce product weight by 30% and comply with new EU regulations.” Given this brief, we developed the Amerigo, a snap-on cap that exceeded the initial request: we were able to cut product weight by 41.8%, remove unnecessary threading that slowed down manufacturing, and create a fitment that’s easy and safe to use for children.
The Journey to Amerigo
The Amerigo initially started as a challenge from Materne, which was an exciting prospect for Bloedt and his team. “It’s very compelling to get requests from our partners because there are not that many companies in our industry bringing new products to market,” he says. “Because we’re a technology company, we don’t always get direct consumer feedback, so not only do these requests help us understand how customers interact with our products, but they tell us the broader needs of consumers.”
Bloedt began working on the Amerigo four years ago, starting with a simple brief: to make a fitment that weighed less than their current fitment and meets EU regulations.
“The way this process works is we take the request from our customer,” he says, “whether it’s for a fitment of a certain shape, or a request to reduce total material weight, or just to make something different. Then, we generate a few design concepts, and we introduce them to the customer.”
Bloedt began by making prototypes of fitments, experimenting with new ways to cut product weight. Prototypes were tested internally through a process called Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA), which Bloedt likens to “kicking the tires on a new design,” to figure out if a prototype can perform reliably and identify potential flaws.
The process of making a new fitment isn’t linear. It requires constant back-and-forth, and Bloedt regularly solicited feedback from Materne. Eventually, they were able to narrow down potential fitment designs and brought them to consumers for field testing. They collected insights from users, continued testing new prototypes, and landed on a fitment that exceeded expectations.
A New Solution With Unexpected Results
With the Amerigo, we took creative and unexpected approaches to reducing product weight. As they worked on prototypes, Bloedt and his team of engineers created a design that allowed for the removal of the threads by utilizing a smoother, snap-on function.
“Typically this type of fitment has a spout that sticks out where you screw the cap on, and you have to do this during filling,” Bloedt says. “You’d have to rotate the fitment at least 180 degrees. With the new design, the fitment just snaps on. There’s no rotating, and there’s no screwing mechanism required. Not only did they cut down on weight by removing the threading, but that also simplified the assembly process.”
In the end, we were able to create a model that weighed 41.8% less than their existing fitment, surpassing the 30% benchmark that Materne set. Along with making a lighter fitment, the simplified design was ergonomically beneficial for children, who wouldn’t have to turn and screw in the top. By eliminating the threading, the GoGo squeeZ products were easier to consume and more enjoyable for consumers. “Removing the threading gives a much smoother mouthfeel, leading to a better consumer experience,” Bloedt says.
We have already placed 500 million fitments into the market throughout Europe and North America. Over the next year, Materne intends to insert over two billion more of these fitments into the market.
Our new line of tethered caps represents a nexus of sustainable design. The tethered caps are single-piece fitments designed to ensure that there are no loose pieces and engineered to cut down on raw materials. They are compliant with EU legislation, child-safe, provide an improved ergonomic experience, and are up to 50% lighter than traditional pouch fitments.
A New Chapter in Fitment Design
Scholle IPN has always been a global leader in fitment design. Tethered caps are the latest addition to our portfolio of innovative flexible packaging solutions.
“The Scholle IPN LinkCap™ family is a new development category that relates to the global sustainability drive and is a direct response to customer demands for tethered cap solutions,” says Tony Bloedt, head of global fitment development for Scholle IPN. “We took this a step further by creating innovative designs that enable reduction of source material in combination with adding tethered features that reduce ocean waste.”
Caps get lost easily. Losing the top of a bottle not only means that the top won’t get recycled, but could render what’s inside the package unusable or dangerous. Our team of engineers, scientists, and designers wanted to come up with a solution that addressed sustainability on multiple fronts, and came up with three revolutionary designs meant to pair well with any flexible package solution:
Our patented snap-on cap design is easy to use for all ages. These caps consume less energy during manufacturing, assembly, and sealing than traditional caps. “The snap-on cap design simplifies manufacturability of tethered cap solutions,” Bloedt says, “while at the same time improves consumer experience through easy-off cap opening.” Snap-On caps are ideal for single-use pouches intended for direct consumption, like fruit purees for kids.
The flip-top cap is ideal for one-handed use. Compatible with our HFFS filling machines, the flip-top is a single-piece tether and spout with an integrated tamper evident seal. Flip-top caps are great for products like water, motor oil, and condiments, where consumers can see that the tether has not been tampered with while still being able to easily open and close the top.
Our screw-on caps are lightweight and offer a reduction in source materials to produce. The tethered hinge means that the cap won’t interrupt the flow of product, which is critical for products like motor oil and dish soap.
Going Above and Beyond
We began working on tethered caps as a response to new EU regulations mandating that all caps be attached to plastic bottles by 2024. This mandate aligned with Scholle IPN’s dedication to sustainability, but we didn’t want to add a tether to existing fitments and call it a day.
“Just adding a tether feature to existing caps would comply with that goal, but would require adding plastic,” says Bloedt. “Scholle IPN targeted to create tethered caps that would reduce the total amount of plastic used.”
We answered the EU mandate by designing tethered caps that addressed sustainability concerns in a number of ways:
First, we made sure that the tethered caps were strong to prevent the caps from getting lost and ending up in ecosystems like oceans.
Second, we tested their reliability to make sure they wouldn’t come off during regular use.
Third, we considered existing technologies and applications. We identified ways to reduce source materials while remaining compatible with current formats
To achieve these goals, our team had to think outside the box. “The introduction of tethered caps in combination with snap-on features added to the complexity of the component manufacturing assets,” Bloedt points out. “To overcome these complexities, new materials and manufacturing technologies like conformed cooling had to be applied to achieve the desired results.”
Creative Design and New Technologies
Our dedication to sustainability means we never take the easy way out. The process of developing new tethered caps that were both EU-compliant and reduced our carbon footprint meant months of ideation and testing. “The Scholle IPN fitment engineering team collaborated with customers to create multiple initial designs,” Bloedt shares of the creative process. “Through internal and third party consumer tests, the most favorable designs were identified and used as the basis for the development of the commercial products that will be available in the LinkCap Product Family.”
Through testing came new ideas and unexpected benefits, and our team identified groundbreaking ways we could reduce our energy output. “Lightweighting the fitments through the snap-on feature not only resulted in tremendous source material savings but also brought a real measurable reduction in energy consumption in the manufacturing process from lower cycle times and reduced cooling energy,” Bloedt says as he reflects on surprises he and his team stumbled upon through the design process. By committing to designing a truly sustainable tethered cap, our team was able to come up with new and exciting processes to reduce waste and find solutions that were not immediately evident.
Tethered caps are a triumph of sustainable design. There’s far more to their construction than meets the eye, and we’re happy to share more if you’re interested in incorporating tethered caps into your pouch manufacturing line.
ESSENTRA PACKAGING CELEBRATES PRO CARTON GOLD AWARD WITH SUSTAINABLE PACK FOR EXENTRIQUE FACIAL CLEANSER
Essentra Packaging has been recognised in this year’s Pro Carton awards, clinching Gold in the Carton Excellence Awards for its cosmetics carton for exclusive online skincare brand Exentrique.
The solution devised by Essentra for Exentrique’s Facial Cleanser met the requirements to reflect the brand’s unique positioning and identity, enhance appeal in the online sales channel and ensure the perfect at home opening experience, while at the same time satisfying its sustainability standards.
Ynvisible Interactive Inc., a fast-growing firm in the Internet of Things (IoT) market, and PragmatIC Semiconductor, a world leader in flexible electronics, have entered into non-binding Technology Partnership and Supply Agreement, for a period of 3 years for services and deliverables of up to 2 Million U.S. dollars, focused on fully integrated flexible display modules.
Many applications in growing markets such as smart packaging and healthcare require a display, for example to provide assurance that the item was transported correctly, or to guarantee authenticity, or simply to provide a read-out of critical data. Traditional displays are inherently expensive, rigid and relatively bulky, which means that they are not suitable for packaging or printed media, or for embedding into mass market devices. Ynvisible’s printed electrochromic technology is ideal for these applications, enabling sustainable ultra-low-power displays in novel thin and flexible form factors.
But the display itself is only part of the puzzle – a driver circuit is also required to determine the behaviour of the display. Until now, this has required a separate silicon integrated circuit (or chip), which is not only cumbersome and expensive but also detracts from the form-factor benefits of a thin and flexible display. Now, Ynvisible will employ a thin and flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) from PragmatIC Semiconductor, embedded within the printed display to deliver a complete module.
The two companies also see strong synergies in their vision of enabling innovators to create optimised custom designs in a fraction of the time and cost required using traditional electronics. Under the recently signed agreement, PragmatIC will develop and supply a range of FlexICs that Ynvisible will integrate into both standard and customer-bespoke display modules.
“By integrating flexible integrated circuits we can now dramatically enhance the product solutions we offer our customers,” said Michael Robinson, CEO of Ynvisible. “We look forward to working with PragmatIC to deliver a range of flexible display modules that can offer easy integration with enhanced functionality across our verticals of supply chain, play and packaging and medical devices.”
“Ynvisible’s electrochromic display technology is a great match for our thin, flexible chips,” said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC Semiconductor. “Alongside our FlexIC Foundry, this accelerates our vision of opening up exciting new opportunities beyond RFID, such as smart medical devices and visually interactive packaging.”
IPS Packaging & Automation (www.ipack.com) is pleased to introduce new order tracking software that allows customers to stay updated on the status of their shipments in real time. This dynamic new software, called IPS Deliver, brings to-the-minute updates on order deliveries via email.
The IPS Deliver feature works simply to keep customers informed. Each time someone places an order with IPS Packaging & Automation that is shipped via the in-house shipping and logistics network, they will receive an email with custom order updates. This begins as soon as the truck heads out for delivery and then follows up when the buyer’s destination is next in line, again when the truck is a certain number of minutes away, and finally confirms when the order has been delivered.
Scott Beam, IPS Packaging & Automation’s Director of Operations, states that “Based on feedback from customers around the nation, we’re implementing IPS Deliver as a simple and effective method for order and delivery tracking. This all-new web interface enhances the customers experience by allowing users to see all delivery information in real-time. It also provides instant access to customer signatures and photos for proof of delivery, which significantly improves delivery and collection accuracy.”
IPS Deliver joins the company’s diverse lineup of services created specifically to improve the customer buying experience. Other features offered by the company include custom packaging engineering services, routine equipment maintenance programs, and much more. To discuss how to get started with IPS Deliver for all future orders and shipments, please contact your account manager or other representative at IPS Packaging & Automation.
Established in 1976, IPS Packaging & Automation grew to become a multi-location packaging supplier that partners with customers to mitigate creeping expenses related to labor, freight, and damaged goods. When the company's technology platform is combined with its teams of engineers and automation specialists, IPS Packaging & Automation can guarantee year-over-year innovation and savings to the exclusive partners that commit to them.
See live on-demand production of unique single-dose sachets that can be opened with a single gesture using one hand with V-Shapes PRIME with in-line printing
Wolfertschwenden, 14 September 2021 - At this year's Compamed MULTIVAC will be exhibiting packaging solutions for sensitive products. The highlight will be the RX 4.0 thermoforming packag-ing machine in GMP design, which will be presented to the visitors for the first time. In conjunction with an integrated handling mod-ule and an InteliJet HD digital printer from BELL-MARK, it forms an efficient solution for producing and printing combi packs containing a syringe, filter and vial.